Mini carob rusks with aniseed and walnut

December 5th, 2019 § Comments Off on Mini carob rusks with aniseed and walnut § permalink

According to the historians, rusk was consumed by ancient Minoans (in Crete) as it was the only way to have a kind of bread to keep longer without spoiling, during their journeys. They call paximadi (παξιμάδι) to the ancient wonder bread that is rusk, of which various shapes of them are loved in all over the country with many different types.

It is beleived that, the word paximadi comes from an ancient Greek baker and cook, Paxamos. The double baked bread paximadi word is derived from Greek and borrowed as  peksimet into Turkish.

Paximadi is a staple food of Greek island cuisine, especially for sailors, farmers and shephards that are away from homes for long periods.

The classical preferred flour for paximadi is barley which gives its characteristic flavour.

Nowadays one can find a paximadi with various types, including sweet ones, but not as sweet as a biscuit.

The sweet ones like these mini carob rusks are commonly served with a cup of coffee.

  • 400 gr + 1 T. whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup carob syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 T. aniseed
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda

Preheat your oven to 170°C.

In a bowl, combine orange juice and baking soda.

Add extra virgin olive oil, brown sugar and carob syrup to the bowl.

In another bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, aniseed and walnuts.

Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture in batches and make a soft dough.

Knead 4 small loaves and cut into 2 cm slices, but not all the way through.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of your baking tray. Put the loaves into the tray and bake in 170 °C for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cut in slices and seperate the pieces.

Place the rusk pieces to a parchement covered oven tray and bake again for at least 30 minutes with lowered temperature of 160°C.

Bake the rusks until dry compeletly and all moisture is gone.

Let them cool and store in an airtight container.

Crack cookies with walnut dipped in chocolate

July 10th, 2019 § Comments Off on Crack cookies with walnut dipped in chocolate § permalink

  • 3/4 cup walnut
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 200 gr butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. vanilla powder

Chop nuts pressing gently.

In a large bowl combine flour, cacao powder, baking soda, vanilla powder, cinnamon powder and chopped walnuts.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and stir until creamy.

Add dried ingredients  including chopped walnuts with butter mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated.

Roll dough into walnut shaped balls and flatten balls slightly with your thumb leaving an indentation in the center.

Place the cookies into the pachment paper lined baking sheet with sufficent space between them.

Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Bake at preheated 180° C for about 15 minutes.

Cool cookies completely before transferring to a plate.

for chocolate filling:

  • 100 gr bitter chocolate

Break chocolate and place into a bowl. With bain marie method, sit over a pan of simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt.

Spoon 1 or 2 teaspoons of this filling into the center of each cookie depending on the size of your indentations taking care not to overflow the thumbprint.

Let cool at room temperature for about 3 to 4 hours.

Koliva ~ wheat berry memorial dessert (κόλλυβα)

June 14th, 2018 § Comments Off on Koliva ~ wheat berry memorial dessert (κόλλυβα) § permalink

This food is made to remember those who have passed and treated to all in attendance to the memorial. It is made primarily of wheat berry, which symbolizes life and regeneration. Like wheat, people are buried in order to grow and have a new life. It is a fine way to honour the deceased with the food of life.

Koliva has a soft gravel like texture and served in a large tray, spooned out into cups or on small plates.

The nutritious dessert koliva, has high in fiber and provides iron and protein.

For preperation, it requires time, patience and care.

  • 2 cups of wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 250 gr roasted yellow chickpeas (sarı leblebi in Turkish) (powdered with food processor)
  • 1 cup petit-beurre biscuits (powdered with food processor)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 T. dried currants
  • 20 gr cinnamon powder
  • 1 t. clove powder
  • 20 gr vanilla powder
  • For topping:

  • 400 gr powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • dragees (optional)
  • de-seeded pomegranate (optional as is not always in season)
  • Rinse the wheat berries and place them in a large saucepan. Put in water and soak overnight.

    Add enough water to the pressure cooker and bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the wheat berries are tender and beginning to split but not mushy.

    Drain in the strainer to cool.

    Cover an oven tray with a clean towel and spread the wheat berries in pieces on the towel for at least 4-5 hours.

    Boil the almonds for about 5-10 minutes, in order to remove the skins. Once they are peeled, pop them into a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice to keep them nice and white.

    Then toast the almonds, walnuts and sesame seeds (optional) and allow to cool in separate bowls.

    Place the drained wheat berries in a large mixing bowl.

    Add powdered chickpeas and petite beurre powder to absorbe the moist if exit. But reserve some chickpeas and petite beurre powder for top.

    Add the rest of the ingredients one by one.

    Toss it all together very well.

    Transfer the mixture to a large platter or tray.

    Press the mixture down to smooth it and to shape it.

    Place the remaining chickpeas powder and petite beurre mixture and press.

    Sift the powdered sugar over the top to coat it thickly, almost like a frosting.

    Flatten the koliva with a small parchment paper to fine and smooth the top. So that it can be seen as it has frosting on top.

    Decorate the top with roasted almonds and almond dragees.

    The wheat berries can ferment if left at room temperature overnight and the sugar can crystallize in a moist environment.

    For that reason, if left by chance, cover and store refrigerated.

    Olive salad (Zeytin piyazı)

    January 25th, 2011 § Comments Off on Olive salad (Zeytin piyazı) § permalink

    The olive tree is the sign of health, victory, prosperity, peace, wisdom, purity and rebirth for many civilizations. Also, it is one of the famous symbol of Aegean region.

    This tasty salad is served as a meze in Ayvalık region. From a humble breakfast to the most sumptuous feast, the olive salad never fail to grace our tables.

  • 20 green olives (stoned)
  • 1 T dill (cut in small pieces)
  • 1/2 red pepper (cut in small cubes)
  • 3 walnut (cut in small pieces)
  • Cut the stoned green olives in small pieces. Combine red pepper cubes, dill and walnut in a bowl. 

    for the sauce:

  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic (mashed)
  • 1 T pomegranate molasses or Balsamic vinegar
  • Mix olive oil with pomegranate molasses and mashed garlic. Add it to the bowl and gently stir.

    Easy raisin cake with almond

    January 4th, 2011 § Comments Off on Easy raisin cake with almond § permalink

    As we welcome winter, we are seduced by sweet cakes to get extra energy. This very easy to do raisin cake keeps really well, for that reason I generally make it a day in advance. Before serving, you can warm the cake by setting it in a 100° C oven for 10 minutes.

    • 3 eggs
    • 2 cup flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup ground almonds (blanched)
    • 1/4 cup walnuts (coarsely crushed)
    • 1 T baking powder
    • 1 T raisin (yellow coloured)
    • 2 T cognac

    Beat together eggs and sugar. Add olive oil, milk and vanilla extract. Sift flour and baking powder and add it to the mixture. Put the ground almonds, the crushed walnuts and raisin. Pour 2 T cognac and stir together until smooth.

    Spoon into a greased tin. Bake 40 minutes at 180° C pre-heated oven until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

    Serve warm or leave to cool.

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